Novik, Naomi: (05) Victory of Eagles (spoilers)

By request, a spoiler post to discuss Naomi Novik’s Victory of Eagles. The non-spoiler post is here.

Some observations to kick things off:

Konrad, I am so bad with names that I had to look up Woolvey. No, the reason I was thinking Tharkay is the way he cuts Laurence to the bone with so little effort, pointing out the futility of martyrdom and the barbarity of Wellesley’s orders, and then shows up at the end to keep him company, which is the particular bit I can’t quite fathom.

Speaking of Wellesley, I’m embarassed to admit it took me until the last chapter, when he’s formally introduced as Wellington, to recognize him. Obviously, I know almost nothing about him; but his deep practicality and his support for Catholic emancipation in our world strikes me as good enough reason to have achieved the recognition of dragons that we get here (yay!).

So: Granby, out of the service? How shall the Napoleonic Wars go without our POV characters? What interesting things await in Australia (is it at all realistic to hope for a better outcome to colonialization there)? And will Novik manage to keep it from being too Patrick O’Brian-like, especially on the prison-ship voyage there?


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  1. Don’t feel bad about forgetting Woolvey; he only appears in one or two chapters. Which is why I thought you were talking about him re: “out of proportion to the amount of page time”. Laurence seemed more upset about that than the bit you’re talking about (well, he actually talked a lot about being upset compared to his total silence on the other matter). And though it was completely in character and even set up in the earlier books, you still have a character introduced just to be killed.
    Maybe Laurence will finally demand some answers from Tharkay in the next book; he can hardly deny that he’s following Laurence and Temeraire around.
    Is this really the first time the name “Wellington” has appeared? I thought I saw it in an earlier book, but that may be confused memory of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell.
    I couldn’t care less about Napolean and his wars, but I am worried about how the dragons will be treated now that their primary spokesperson is gone. Will his being sent away be viewed as a veiled threat? Was it intended as such? Will Perscitia try to take his place? And it’s probably best for everyone that Iskierka insisted on coming too.

  2. Konrad: mmm, Woolvey isn’t much of a mystery to me, either in himself or in Laurence’s reaction to him.
    Re: “Wellington”–if that name appears in prior books, so it would be a continuity error, since it’s explicitly stated that he’d taken the new name as of the last chapter. I’m pretty sure not, though.
    And it’s probably best for everyone that Iskierka insisted on coming too.
    Oh yes.

  3. (Actually, he is referred to as Wellington in chapter 9 of this book, but that’s an obvious mistake.)

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